John Abernethy CV


2014- 2019  PhD Candidate LJMU

PhD Thesis:    The Influence of Forest Structure on Sumatran Orangutan Nesting and Densities in the Lowland Dipterocarp forests of North Sumatra

Supervised by Prof Serge Wich and Dr Nicola Koyama

LJMU Scholarship

2012-2013            University of Exeter, MSc Applied Ecology with Merit

Courses:   Modules completed include:

  • Quantitative Biology,
  • Preparing for Ecological Consultancy,
  • Africa Field Course,
  • Ecological Census Techniques

MSc Thesis: I completed two theses in my MSc a research project entitled “Prey detection in burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides)” and a census project “Extended phase 1 survey of Kennal Vale Nature Reserve”. Supervised by Dr Andrew McGowan.

University of South Wales (formerly University of Glamorgan), BSc (Hons) International Wildlife Biology 1st Class

Courses:  Modules completed include:

  • Big Game Tracking
  • Tropical Field Ecology
  • African Biodiversity
  • Environmental Modelling for Wildlife Management
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Molecular Ecology
  • Wildlife Management
  • Marine and Freshwater Biology
  • Ecological Interactions
  • Communities, Agriculture and Biodiversity

BSc Thesis: Population dynamics and ecology of sympatric caiman species in the Samiria River, Peru. Supervised by Dr Peter Roy Wiles.

Research Experience

April/2014 – August/2014            University of Bristol    Field Research Assistant

Assisted on a long-term research project looking into the effects of artificial street lighting on the foraging and commuting behaviours of Lesser Horseshoe bats in the South-West of the UK. Main duties involved assisting with captures, tagging and collecting of morphometric and health data and radio tracking tagged individuals nightly from dusk until dawn to record their movements and behaviours and uploading the data to the database.

Teaching Experience

February 2020 – Current,  Lecturer in Marine Ecology, Liverpool John Moores University

September 2014 – December 2018,   Teaching Support Officer, Liverpool John Moores University

Industry Experience

April 2019-October 2019 – Assistant Ecologist, TEP The Environment Partnership

Managed stakeholders including clients, subconsultants and land owners to organise field surveys and access for the field surveyors on a number of projects from small scale local housing developments to large-scale high-profile infrastructure projects.

Produced numerous reports for clients including Desktop Assessments, Ecological Assessments and Protected Species Appendices for various protected species along with producing quotes for tender to prospective clients and further works with commissioned clients.

Conducted the initial analysis for bat acoustic data for all nocturnal bat surveys on a large-scale national rail project utilising the BatExplorer and Anabat Insight software packages.

Assisted in conducting a wide range of field surveys for protected species and habitats in sites across the UK.

September 2017- December 2017 – Programme Officer for the IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group, Chester Zoo

Played a major part in the organisation, logistics and facilitation of three major training workshops in Indonesia held in October 2017, the workshops were on Zoo Educator Training, Anoa and Babirusa Husbandry and Transportation Techniques and Anoa and Babirusa Rescue Training.

Organised both in person and skype meetings with stake holders and recorded minutes during these and compiled these into action lists which were then disseminated to all relevant stakeholders.

Facilitated for the training staff during the workshops in Indonesia by providing them with guidance, organising transport and accommodation as well as translating between English and Bahasa Indonesian.

 Wrote and edited both the Action Indonesia Global Species Management Plan Annual Report and the second issue of the Action Indonesia GSMP Newsletter which can both be found on the AWCSG website.


  • Camera trapping
  • International fieldwork organisation and running
  • UK
  • Experienced in conducting field survey methods such as; Phase 1 habitat surveys, camera trapping, small mammal trapping, radio tracking, breeding bird surveys, distance sampling for birds using point counts and belt transects, mist netting, herpetofauna surveys using refugia, bottle traps, pitfall traps, torch surveys and egg searches, butterfly trapping and netting, nest box surveys, vegetation surveys, bat emergence and activity surveys, invertebrate surveys using sweep nets, pitfalls, light traps and malaise traps etc.
  • Completed surveys recording the health and diversity of coral reefs and seagrass meadows in Borneo
  • Excellent bird, mammal, reptile and plant ID and tracking skills using signs and scat for ID
  • FISC Level 3 Certificate from the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
  • Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver with over 50 logged dives
  • Photography and video recording and editing
  • PCR
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Microscopy
  • Adept at UK bat ID using sonogram analysis tools such as Anabat Insight and BatExplorer
  • Skilled in the use of R for complex statistics and modelling
  • Confident using other software including ArcGIS, Vortex PVA, Primer, MARK, RAMAS, SPSS, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Adobe Lightroom.


English, Norwegian (fluent), German (basic), Spanish (basic).

  • Bilingual native speaker in English and Welsh
  • Completed Levels 1, 2, 2+ and 3 accredited 15-unit courses in Mandarin at the University of Liverpool
  • Good conversational Bahasa Indonesian,

Beginner level Spanish, French and German speaking, writing and reading skills

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